You are what you eat. So, does that make you a better person if you eat organic? Is it worth shelling out the extra money for organic food, or is it all a marketing ploy by the organic food lobby?
We had a comment from Peter, who believes that switching to organic food would confer environmental and health benefits that are “too numerous to name”. This is a common argument in favour of organic food: they are more nutritious, healthier, free from pesticides, better for the planet, and better for animal welfare. But is this too good to be true?
A recent Soil Association poll had 55% of shoppers citing “healthy eating” as a key reason they bought organic, while 53% said “avoiding chemical residues”. However, the science tends to be more sceptical about the health benefits of organic. One recent study did find that organic food has more antioxidant compounds linked to better health, and lower toxic metal levels. However, a major 2012 study showed that there are no significant health benefits.
To get a response to all this, we spoke to Benedek Jávor, a Hungarian MEP with the Group of Greens in the European Parliament, and a biologist and academic with a focus on the environment. Did he think that the benefits of organic food were being exaggerated?
We also had a comment from Georges, who questioned whether it would ever be possible to produce produce organic food on a scale that could satisfy the whole European market. How would Benedek Jávor respond?
Does organic food really make a difference? Or are the benefits of going organic being exaggerated? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reacations!